Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Day 15 : Steel Rigg - Bellingham (28km)

Total distance covered so far : 371km

The Robbin Hood Prince Of Thieves tree

Today was longer than I expected and my feet ache!

From Steel Rigg I had to do another couple of km along Hadrian's Wall, so that was a very up and down experience. Though since in the morning the weather was cool and spring sunny, the views were lovely. And as the Harian's Wall Trail is popular, it wasn't long before I met someone else going the same way to chat with. It was lovely to actually see other people again. But all too soon, the sign showing where the Pennine Way left the trail to go its own way arrived and we had to say goodbye.

And leaving the Hadrian's Wall trail also meant leaving hiking kindergarten and re-entering the sodden world of the Pennine Way. Within only a few minutes I was wading across a 'bridge' that was three inches under water, probing through the mud with my sticks to make sure that there actually was something where I was about to put my foot. It was a shocking change of gear!

Across boggy Ridley Common and into the silent and boggy Northumberland National Park forest where for the first time is ages, when standing still I could hear nothing but birds. Not the faintest hint of traffic, no airplanes, no industry, nothing! Just the prehistoric sound of birds chattering in the treas! Squelching onwards through boggy Haughton Common, in and out of the forest and boggy pastures for miles.

Then I ripped the arse of my pants on a nail sticking out of a style! Oh that pissed me off! Yes, I'm talking to you, people in Hornysteads Farm. It's name and shame time! Fix your bloody style!

And finally, since the weather had been threatening rain for a few hours, and a thunder storm crackled just as I crested a hill I got a final proper soaking from it as I arrived at my accommodation. It's a fittingly wet end to a very squelchy day I suppose.

A pretty, though tediously long and very wet, slithery mess of a day!

Looking out along Hadrian's Wall from Steel Rigg
Hadrian's Wall
The view(s) from on top of the Wall
Milecastle 39 (what's left of it!)
That tree again! It really is pretty; and 'buzzing' with bees too!
And here's the goodbye moment where the Pennine Way and the Hadrian's Wall Trail part company
Back into the land of 'wet'
Haughton Common from the foot of the cliffs under Hadrian's Wall
Note that where the sign points, there is a stream running over the path!
Near the bottom of this notice it claims that Kielser Water and Forest Park are the most tranquil areas in England! Big claim! Might just be true.....
Squishy Haughton Common. Wet but not frightening!
And in the mile of it is a 'walled garden' thing where you could happily camp for the night!
And Sauron said 'whoooaaaarrr!' And all was laid waste!
More very tranquil forest
It's that time of year so look and enjoy, it won't be here for long!
Should have said 'Beware Nail'
But really! What the hell are you to do when you are following a National Trail and come across this sign?
Arse ripping nails! Serves me right for having such a big arse I suppose!
I thought I should include at least a bit of mud since it was the bane of my life all day! It's very slippery and sticky!
And just as I got to the top of Earlingham Rigg, a thunder storm started!
I was praying that the tower protected from rather than lured the storm!
And then 'whoosh'! A token! So no need to worry...!
Storm clouds,over Bellingham
And the following are for my friends at the Cloud Appreciation Society, of which I really am a very proud member!
Starting to verge towards Mamus type clouds!
These guys really did give me a soaking to finish the day off!





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